Leukaemia UK reveals new strategy to go further than ever to stop leukaemia devastating lives We're excited to share that we now have a bold, new strategy that will go further than ever to stop leukaemia devastating lives. Since Leuka and Leukaemia UK merged in 2019 we have been focused on being a greater force for change for those whose lives are impacted by a leukaemia diagnosis. Despite decades of progress, survival rates for leukaemia are still nowhere near where they should be and quality of life for many remains a challenge. We believe now, more than ever before, that research has the power to change this. Our new strategy – shaped by our supporters and scientific and healthcare professionals across the blood cancer community – will be focused on saving and improving more lives, through research, awareness and advocacy. Our new video was voiced with thanks to actor and long-time supporter of Leukaemia UK, Dougray Scott. Our new vision To stop leukaemia devastating lives. Our new mission We bring together the leukaemia community so we can find and fund the life-changing research that matters most to people affected. Our new strategy Leukaemia doesn’t discriminate. It affects people of all ages – from children to grandparents. Every day in the UK, 28 people – 10,000 a year – are told the news that they have leukaemia. We believe leukaemia has already devastated too many lives – so we’re on a mission to stop this from happening. What if through research, we could accelerate progress and improve the lives of people affected by leukaemia today and in the future? By bringing together the experience and expertise of people who are living and working with leukaemia, and putting patients right at the heart, we will do everything we can to make sure that the next person diagnosed has the best possible experience of diagnosis, treatment and care. Our future work will be focused on saving and improving more lives, through research, awareness and advocacy. With your help we can fund more work than ever before – and over the next five years, treble our investment in life-changing initiatives, whilst raising greater awareness of the disease and championing the voice of leukaemia patients and our community. Your support has achieved so much already but we believe that now we can go further and faster than ever before. Please help us once again in this exciting new chapter of our work and visit our fundraising page to donate. We're keen to hear your views and work with the leukaemia community, so if you’ve got any thoughts you’d like to share or would like to collaborate, please get in touch via [email protected] We will find and fund the research that matters most We want to make sure we’re exploring as many possibilities as possible to save lives and improve quality of life for leukaemia patients. By bringing together the experience and expertise of people who are living and working with leukaemia, we can focus on making improvements to diagnosis, treatment and care that will make the biggest difference. Our current research programme includes funding potentially high-impact science through project grants, fellowships and scholarships for early careers researchers and the first ever UK clinical trials initiative for stem cell transplants. We are expanding our research programme with new funding streams, including investing further in the leukaemia research leaders of today and tomorrow, project grants to tackle the big questions, collaboration grants to go further, faster – and applied research, to ensure breakthroughs reach patients sooner. Our plans include new follow-up awards, specifically for our previous John Goldman Fellows, supporting the scientific leaders of tomorrow to secure future ground-breaking scientific discoveries into the causes and treatment of leukaemia. We want to offer further clinical research training fellowships, including continuing to fund joint fellowships with the Medical Research Council. These offer clinical professionals the vital opportunity to launch novel research projects that combine their clinical and research expertise to develop kinder and more effective treatments for leukaemia. We will develop mentoring schemes and clinical trial training to support and develop the early careers of researchers and junior clinicians, as well as offering International Scholarships joint-funded with the European School of Haematology. Clinical trials play a crucial role in forming the evidence base for new approaches to treatment and are essential if patient survival rates following a stem cell transplant (SCT) are to be increased. As such Leukaemia UK remains committed to supporting the vital work taking place in the UK around blood cancer clinical trials. We also want to continue providing financial support to families to help in a small way as they work through the challenging times that come with a leukaemia diagnosis. In order to do this, we hope to partner with other blood cancer charities in order to provide a financial support fund for affected families. One of our collaborators is Dr Samanta Mariani, a Leukaemia UK John Goldman Fellow researching the role of macrophages, a type of white blood cell that plays an important part in our immune system, in cases of infant leukaemia. She said: “Leukaemias, especially acute leukaemias, are difficult to treat. Leukaemias such as acute myeloid leukaemia and acute lymphoblastic leukaemia are the most common types in infants and children. Chemotherapy is only able to eradicate the disease in half of infant cases. There is a critical need for further research to understand what happens in the early stages of leukaemia’s development and to develop treatments which target just the cancer cells and leave the healthy cells intact, improving survival rates as well as quality of life for those who receive this devastating diagnosis.” To find out more about our research or if you’re a researcher or clinician interested in funding, please contact [email protected]. We will advocate for progress We want to make sure patients are truly at the heart of our drive for progress and that we are focusing on what matters most to them. We are establishing a Patient Advisory Panel and we will make sure that their thoughts and opinions inform our engagement with UK decision makers within the NHS and government departments including the Department of Health and Social Care. We will work with the Government and other stakeholders to effect policies that directly impact the leukaemia community, making sure that the needs and concerns of blood cancer patients and their families are heard and doing our utmost to make sure they are prioritised. We will advocate that every leukaemia patient has access to faster diagnosis, the best available therapies and receives person-centred care, no matter who they are or where they live in the UK. Helped by those who have lived experience of leukaemia, we can not only make sure that we are prioritising the research that matters most to those whose lives are impacted by a leukaemia diagnosis, but also work our hardest to help improve the patient experience, from diagnosis to treatment and care. To find out more about our advocacy work or to campaign with us please contact [email protected]. We will raise awareness of leukaemia By raising awareness, we will drive progress in early detection and diagnosis of leukaemia, a vital tool to improve survival rates. Currently, 37% of all leukaemia cases are diagnosed in an emergency setting, and an even higher 66% of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia cases are diagnosed in this way. By this stage patients are sometimes too unwell for the necessary treatments that are known to have harsh side effects. What if we could change this? By improving awareness of the signs and symptoms of leukaemia, we can improve early diagnosis and help people to receive the treatment and care they need as soon as possible. That’s why we are working with our colleagues at other blood cancer charities to do more to raise awareness of leukaemia. This includes collaborative campaigns and support for government initiatives to raise awareness, as well as exploring what the best avenues can be to improve early diagnosis. This will include further policy research and well-informed campaigns so that, with research to guide us, we can transform the way we diagnose, treat and care for people affected by leukaemia across the UK. Dr Pramila Krishnamurthy, a Leukaemia UK John Goldman Fellow, knows only too well the importance of increasing awareness of the signs and symptoms of leukaemia. She said: “When patients come to hospital with AML, they have often had subtle symptoms that they have put down to other things – for example tiredness from taking on too much at work, or shortness of breath that they thought could be due to COVID or just a lack of fitness. Late diagnosis can lead to much greater complications and a risk of death, so making sure the public is aware of this condition is really vital.” An exciting new look We also want to share that we will be rolling out a bold new look and feel for the charity over the coming months that, following our merger, embodies our desire to be a greater force for change in leukaemia and brings our strategy to life. We can’t wait to share it with you! Thank you for your interest in our strategy. We'd love to hear what you think so please get in touch via [email protected] to share your thoughts or ways we might be able to work together. Together we can stop leukaemia devastating lives.